Bottas: It's going to take a while to understand that this is really happening

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Time to dust off the blog for the new year to bring you some comments from the driver announcements today (all as expected):

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 

“It’s mega to be driving a Silver Arrow this year,” said Bottas in an address to the workforce at Mercedes' UK factory in Brackley. “I can’t wait to get working properly.

“My goal is immediately at the first race to get all the points that are available. I guarantee I will be giving it all.

“I want to thanks Toto [Wolff, Mercedes-Benz head of motorsport] and everyone at the Mercedes and Daimler boards for this opportunity.

“This is my fifth season in F1. I got nine podiums with Williams, but I’m still missing my first win, so that’s my first mission.”

Felipe Massa (Williams) 

Q: You said at the end of last season that you felt it was the right time to retire from Formula One, what has changed?

A: My intention was always to race somewhere, as I still have the passion for racing and competing. I also have a strong love for Williams as I have enjoyed the last three years with the team, and therefore coming back to help give stability and experience to drive things forward in 2017 was something that felt right to do.

I have a passion for racing, for competing and for fighting on the track. My return is not about seeing Formula One as the best option, but is about seeing the role at Williams as the best option. I would not have returned for any other team.

Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber) 

"Our objective is to establish ourselves in the midfield and to score points on a regular basis.

"I want to say a big thank you to Sauber for trusting in me and giving me this great chance.

"And surely, a huge thanks also goes to Mercedes for the support."

Poor old Pascal, misses out at Merc but at least stays in the sport. With the backing of Mercedes other pay drivers like Felipe Nasr don't really stand a chance in the smaller teams.

Ironically, it was Nasr's points in Brazil that have put Manor's future in doubt, along with his own chances of sticking around F1.